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Source: Jack Eichel to leave BU, sign with Sabres

07.01.15 at 9:24 am ET
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This isn’t surprising but now it’s finally on the verge of being official. Jack Eichel will leave Boston University and sign with the Sabres, according to a source. The Sabres drafted Eichel with the second overall pick Friday night.

Eichel was expected to turn pro all along after dominating college hockey as a freshman, but he and those close to him insisted that he was giving serious consideration to a return to BU for one more season. Eichel often spoke about how much he enjoyed being at BU.

Eichel, a North Chelmsford native, won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman after leading the country with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 40 games. He became the youngest player to win the Hobey and just the second freshman to do so, joining Maine’€™s Paul Kariya (1993).

He helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles as well as a Frozen Four berth, although they ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Shawn Stepner of WKBW in Buffalo reported earlier Wednesday that Eichel is expected to sign his contract with the Sabres today. WEEI.com’s source could not confirm that the deal will definitely get done today, but Eichel is indeed signing with Buffalo.

Hurricanes draft BC defenseman Noah Hanifin with fifth overall pick

06.26.15 at 7:43 pm ET
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Make it two local players in the top five. After Jack Eichel went second overall to the Sabres, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin was drafted fifth overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Hanifin, a Norwood native, finished his freshman season with five goals and 18 assists in 37 games. The 6-foot-3 Hanifin is good at both ends of the ice, with his defensive-zone play notably improving throughout the year at BC. His biggest strength is his skating. He was named to Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team and was also a Second Team All-Star.

Hanifin had originally been ranked third by Connor McDavid and Eichel, but his stock slipped a little despite a very good second half with the Eagles.

Sabres draft BU’s Jack Eichel with second overall pick

06.26.15 at 7:30 pm ET
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As expected, the Buffalo Sabres drafted Boston University star Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the NHL draft.

Eichel, a North Chelmsford native, won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman after leading the country with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 40 games. He became the youngest player to win the Hobey and just the second freshman to do so, joining Maine’s Paul Kariya (1993).

He helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles as well as a Frozen Four berth, although they ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Eichel now needs to decide if he’s going to turn pro and sign with the Sabres or return to BU for his sophomore season. The prevailing thought is that he’ll turn pro, but Eichel and those close to him have insisted all along that returning to BU is a realistic option.

When asked about the decision after getting picked Friday night, Eichel told NBC Sports, “I guess we’ll find out in a few days.”

Boston College 1B Chris Shaw selected by Giants in first-round of MLB draft

06.09.15 at 9:50 am ET
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With the 31st pick in the 2015 MLB draft, the Giants selected Chris Shaw, a first baseman from Boston College. The Giants had received the compensation pick for Pablo Sandoval, who signed a $95 million deal with the Red Sox this offseason after the Giants had given him a qualifying offer.

The Giants made Shaw the highest Boston College pick since Tony Sanchez was taken fourth overall by the Pirates in 2009. A native of Lexington, Massachusetts, Shaw has until mid-July to sign a contract with the Giants or return to Boston College for his senior season.

Shaw played 40 games for Boston College this season, turning in team high’s in batting average (.319), home runs (11) and RBIs (43). He had a slashline of .319/.411/.611 and earned All-ACC Second Team honors.

“He is a guy that we think has a legitimate chance of hitting in the middle of the lineup,” Giants scouting director John Barr said of Shaw, via The San Jose Mercury News.

The 21-year-old was the 45th best prospect in the draft according to Baseball America’s pre-draft rankings, while ESPN’s Keith Law had him ranked 58th.

Shaw played in the Cape Cod League last summer against some of the best collegiate competition in the country. The lefty dominated, leading the league in dingers with eight and creating a name for himself by hitting 450-foot homers over the center field wall in the league’s home run derby.

Despite his raw power, Shaw has been knocked for his plate discipline. Scouts do not think his high collegiate OBP will translate to professional baseball.

“Shaw is very aggressive at the plate and doesn’€™t make pitchers work enough for someone with his power,” wrote Chris Crawford of Baseball Prospectus.

This is the second consecutive year an Eagle has been drafted as the Yankees took Andrew Chin in last year’s draft as a redshirt sophomore.

Read More: Boston College, Chris Shaw,

UMass transfer Derrick Gordon lands at Seton Hall, decries ‘blatant homophobia’ at some colleges

05.18.15 at 12:46 pm ET
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Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon, who made headlines when he became the first openly gay Division 1 men’s basketball last year before his junior season at UMass, announced that he is transferring to Seton Hall.

Gordon reiterated that he left UMass for reasons related to his on-court role on the team. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season.

“It really had nothing to do with my sexuality or anything like that,” he told USA Today. “Everything was great at UMass. There were no issues. We showered together and I don’t look at my teammates like that. … At the beginning, were they uncomfortable? Yeah. But they were real with me, expressed concern, and we dealt with it. That made us better friends, better teammates.”

However, when looking at transfer possibilities, Gordon said a number of schools made it clear they had no interest in him because of his sexual orientation.

“During the recruiting process, a number of schools didn’t want me because I’m gay,” he said. “To me, that’s blatant homophobia. At the end of the day, no coaches will ever admit that they don’t want me because I’m gay and there’s baggage that comes with the attention.

“Honestly, it caught me off guard. It really hurt. It had me stressed, crying. I was starting to lose hope. I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn’t belong in the NCAA. I couldn’t believe it because I’m a good player and they were looking at the opposite — something that doesn’t mean anything with my [sexuality]. … ‘Nah, not the gay guy.’ ”

Gordon, who played high school ball in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and started his college career at Western Kentucky, can play immediately at Seton Hall as a graduate transfer. He’ll help coach Kevin Willard replace leading scorer Sterling Gibbs, who transferred to UConn.

While he remains the only Division 1 player to publicly reveal his homosexuality, Gordon said he doesn’t expect to be alone much longer.

“It won’t be surprising if there are more players coming out very soon,” he said.

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Sources: BU’s Evan Rodrigues to sign free agent deal with Sabres

04.21.15 at 8:31 pm ET
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Boston University forward Evan Rodrigues will sign with the Buffalo Sabres, according to sources. The undrafted free agent ranked second in the country with 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists) in 41 games as a senior while playing on a line with freshman star Jack Eichel. Interestingly enough, Buffalo is also the probable landing spot for Eichel now that the Sabres have the second overall pick.

Rodrigues is a 5-foot-11 right shot from Etobicoke, Ontario. He played left wing this season, but had also played on the right side for stretches of his BU career. Rodrigues is a stellar two-way player who featured prominently on both the penalty kill and power play for the Terriers. BU coach David Quinn has said that Rodrigues is one of the smartest college hockey players he has ever coached.

Rodrigues helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles this season, as well as a Frozen Four appearance. They ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Providence celebrates national championship hockey team

04.14.15 at 10:57 pm ET
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The national championship Providence hockey team was honored at a ceremony Tuesday. (John Rooke)

The national championship Providence College hockey team was honored at a ceremony Tuesday at Schneider Arena. (John Rooke)

For some fans of Providence College, it hasn’t really sunk in. Not yet, anyway.

That was a prevailing feeling among many of the 1,200-plus fans, faculty, students and alumni who took time from their Tuesday afternoon to join the Providence Friars hockey team for a national championship celebration at Schneider Arena on the PC campus. Beating Hockey East rival Boston University, 4-3, in the title game Saturday night in the Frozen Four at TD Garden, with a sudden and somewhat shocking comeback in the final period, wasn’t totally unexpected — even if the way the Friars managed to do it was a bit surprising.

Senior forward and captain Ross Mauermann, admitting he’s still coming to grips with the NCAA Tournament run that began in Providence in the regional (with wins over Miami and Denver), told the crowd the championship was just part of a team dream that had suddenly come true.

“Each one of us believed that we could get this done,” Mauermann told the appreciative crowd. “We trusted in one another and we just came together.”

With 8:36 left in the third period of the title game, junior defenseman Tom Parisi simply dumped the puck from center ice into the BU zone, where it was caught — and then inexplicably dropped — by Terriers goaltender Matt O’Connor. The puck crawled through O’Connor’s pads into the goal to tie the score at 3. Sensing opportunity — if not true good fortune — the Friars scored the game-winning goal two minutes later when junior forward Brandon Tanev wristed a shot past O’Connor from the slot.

Providence goalie Jon Gillies, the Frozen Four’s Most Outstanding Player, came up with his career-high 49th save on a diving, twisting stop with a minute remaining to seal the victory. It was quite the comeback for the Friars, who had managed to give up the fastest two goals in NCAA Tournament history to the Terriers — just four seconds apart — in the second period for a 2-1 BU advantage.

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Reports: BC guard Olivier Hanlan expected to delcare for NBA draft

04.14.15 at 9:19 am ET
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According to multiple reports, Boston College junior guard Olivier Hanlan is expected to declare for the NBA draft. If he does, he will forgo his senior season.

This past season Hanlan averaged 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Boston College went 4-14 in the ACC and 13-19 overall. He is one of the better players in BC history as he became the third player in Boston College history and the 29th player in ACC history to reach 1,000 points as a sophomore, joining Troy Bell and Craig Smith.

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Jon Gillies shows he’s not just Most Outstanding Player, he’s compassionate, too

04.12.15 at 11:35 am ET
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Jon Gillies really does feel for his buddy Matt O’Connor.

The Providence College goalie made that much clear after he and his Friar teammates skated off with a 4-3 win over Boston University in the NCAA championship game Saturday night at TD Garden.

Gillies, voted the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four, was not only the counterpart of O’Connor 200 feet away Saturday, he was playing against another goalie he considers a friend. And when a friend drops a puck into his own goal in the third period of a one-goal game with the NCAA title on the line, it’s hard not to feel sympathetic.

“As a goalie you feel for him,” said Gillies, who stopped 49 of 52 shots Saturday night. “I know him personally. He’s a wonderful goalie. He had a great year and he was fantastic throughout the tournament to get here.”

Gillies, 21, played against O’Connor in 2011 and 2012 when Gillies was with the Indiana Ice of the USHL and O’Connor played for the Youngstown Phantoms. Gillies was the third round pick (75 overall) of the Calgary Flames in 2012. The 23-year-old O’Connor is just hoping for a chance somewhere.

“I’ve played against Matt for the two years before I came here in the USHL, and I got to know him personally,” Gillies said. “And like I said before, as a goalie you feel for a bounce like that. And you’ve been there, so you know the bottomless feeling that it presents and just told him how great of a season he had, how great of a tournament he had, how great of a game he had. He made huge stops throughout the entire game.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston University, Calgary Flames, Frozen Four, Jon Gillies

David Quinn declares his Terriers will ‘be back’ after ‘a tough one to swallow’ in title game

04.12.15 at 4:08 am ET
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What do you say to your team that was just over eight minutes from a national championship?

If you’re David Quinn of the Boston University Terriers, it’s about looking to the future.

Sure, the 4-3 NCAA title game loss to Hockey East rival Providence is going to sting for a long while into the spring and summer. But Quinn knows his team Saturday consisted of eight freshman (four on defense), three sophomores, five juniors (including goalie Matt O’Connor) and just two seniors and a graduate student.

One of the freshman, Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel, may leave for the NHL after either Buffalo, Arizona or Edmonton selects him in the upcoming draft. But the core of a championship roster and re-built program is in place.

“I’ve been very lucky in life. I’ve been coaching for 20 years, and I’ve never enjoyed coaching a team more than the one we had this year. And there’s not much I can say to make our guys feel any better or make anybody associated with BU hockey feel any better right now, but it’s been an incredible year.

“One team wins the last game of the season. The things we’ve accomplished, when nobody thought we could do any of it, are incredible testament to the two guys to my left and everybody else associated with our team. Every player, every student manager- every equipment manager, we were a team. We were a true team.

“And that doesn’t happen very often in sports. We get to this point because we won as a team. And we lost the game tonight because we as a team didn’t play well enough. Bottom line. Providence played better. They won the hockey game. And I want to congratulate Nate [Leaman], he does a heck of a job. And, it’€™s a tough one to swallow, without question. But we’ll be back.”

Read More: Boston University Terriers, David Quinn, Frozen Four,
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